06 August 2010

America, the Home of the Brave: KingCast reflects on workplace violence and racism in the wake of the Hartford Distributors Omar Thornton tragedy.

Update: The plot thickens with NYTimes release of surveillance video.... and the arrest of another woman. And here another black worker says "no problem."

Related NPR story: "Strange Fruit........We're gonna' lynch the niggers!"Now that's scary because I lived in Indianapolis, and I knew about the State's KKK history. James Cameron:
I was looking for some kind of mercy, a kind face.... but I could find none.....

....and you know, both those trees died after that......

Soo...... I don't know what the exact facts are, but I have read from a NY Daily News link in this Christian Science Monitor feature that race was at issue. This from a publication I trust more than just about any other:
"If you called him a n----r he would go off," she said. "But he kept it inside. He kept it all bottled up."

Thornton's best friend, who asked the Daily News to keep his name confidential, said he also used to work at the beer distributor and saw Thornton subjected to racist taunts.

"No one should have had to endure what that company put him through," the friend said. "Stuff on walls. Racist comments. I saw it with my own eyes."

The friend said Thornton was hired as a driver but put to work loading boxes in the warehouse and had to fight to get behind the wheel.

"He had someone write a statement asking why he couldn't drive, and that's when they put him on as a driver," he said.

The company and Teamsters union say Thornton lost his job Tuesday morning after being confronted with video evidence that he was stealing. His friend and girlfriend don't believe it.

"Omar stole beer? The dude didn't even drink. I don't know what he would do with it. He wasn't the stealing type," said his buddy. Hannah said she thought he was being set up.

"A few weeks ago, he told me that the company wanted to get rid of him," she said. "They were looking for a way to get him out of the company and paint him as a problem. That they were going to pin something on him and get him out of the company."

Thornton, she said, was pushed to edge by bigots who wanted to take him down a few pegs. She said she crafted a letter for him to the Budweiser company - a letter he signed - in which he detailed the racist abuse.

"He heard people say he got promoted (to driver) because he was a n-----," she said. "That's when on the bathroom wall he saw a noose and the words "Kill all n-----s."

Thornton took photos of the racist graffiti, she said.

"I saw with my own two eyes his cell phone pictures. These people are lying. The proof is on Omar's cell phone."

The taunts escalated to on-the-job sabotage, she claimed.

"Sometimes his coworkers would pack the trucks the wrong way just to give him extra work," she said. "He was one of only two black guys in the whole company and they were both treated as outcasts. As misfits."

Hannah said that Thornton's union rep didn't support him.

If that is true, I appreciate the loss of lives but I do not appreciate the attitude. Similarly, here is a forum board full of contempt for All Things Jewish, which I cannot appreciate either.

What I can appreciate is this:
1. Responsible government officials who prosecute and settle workplace abuse issues, such as the $290K DOL fine...err....settlement with American Tower Corporation after I, as a black man, wrote a letter on behalf of one of my trainees who reported them to the DOL.

2. Responsible private attorneys who made American Tower pay $14M for backdating stock options. KingCast was there, Boston Globe was not.

You can watch our short film "American Lawyer" at KingCast.net, and as you do, note that these haters had the nerve to imply that I was going to kill people like the bloke in Wakefield, MA and they called the police on me and told the employees I was a "Dangerous Black Man" because I had the nerve to ask for a fax machine, a refrigerator and a back office copier. I was employee of the week but I guess that's only as long as I kept my mouth shut..... Other employees who supported me (Caucasian female and a male, black) were hassled and fired but we hung in there and sued those scumbags, led by HR VP Aileen Torrance, Esq, see how she filed a false Affidavit. The money they ended up paying to us was a pittance to what they own, but the Good Thing is that all of us kept our heads high, took the legal route and told them to go to hell.

At any rate, I can't possibly know what was on that brother's mind when he went off like that, but for anyone who is upset about Corporape Amerikkka please put your finger in the dial, a hand on the shutter and spend a minute inside final cut pro or iMovie '09 before you put your finger on the trigger. This way they can never claim victory over you. You'll be alive, out of jail and marching forward in America, the Home of the Free.... Land of the Brave.

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